This event is the inaugural presentation of the Rockwern Lecture Series. The series represents another significant step in the deepening relationship between the Jewish community and Xavier University. The relationship began with the work of Edward Brueggeman, S.J., and was continued by former University President James E. Hoff, S.J. It has now been expanded and enriched by the work of University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, the exhibition “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People,” the Jewish Foundation, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Hillel Jewish Student Center, which has a Xavier branch. This growing relationship has become a shining national example of how the Jewish and Catholic communities can work together.
Greenberg is an ordained Orthodox rabbi, a Harvard PhD and a scholar. He has been a seminal thinker in confronting the Holocaust and in the reestablishment of the State of Israel as historical, transforming events. Greenberg is the founding president of the Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation. Its mission is to create new institutions and initiatives to enrich the inner life of American Jewry. Recognized as one of the preeminent figures in Jewish-Christian relations, Greenberg is a prolific author on the subject. His book, For the Sake of Heaven and Earth, argues for a pluralist theology that commands followers of each religion to embrace the unique contributions of the other.
“Rabbi Greenberg’s invitation comes as a direct response to a request by Xavier students in a Jewish-Christian dialogue class I taught last year,” says Rabbi Abie Ingber. “The students were so enlightened and challenged by the insights in his scholarly book that they asked if we might ever invite him to campus. The Rockwern Foundation provided just that opportunity. The support of the Rockwern Foundation and the collaborative approach of the Xavier academic community is incredible.”
The Rockwern Charitable Foundation was funded by J. Sumner Rockwern in 1997. Its numerous philanthropic activities include constructing a visitors center at Camp Livingston, assisted-living apartments at Cedar Village and the Peace Garden at the Cincinnati Zoo. The foundation was a major contributor to the new Mayerson Jewish Community Center, to which Xavier also contributed. Most recently, the foundation provided a $4 million endowment for the former Yavneh Day School, now renamed Rockwern Academy.
The Rockwern Lecture Series is co-sponsored by The Rockwern Charitable Foundation, The Office of the President, Xavier University, The Edward B. Breuggeman Center for Dialogue, and the Hillel Jewish Student Center of Xavier University, in cooperation with The Jewish Community Relations Council.